Thursday, November 22, 2012

ekklesia NOT "called out" and separate from society

Craig Blomberg on ekklesia:

So what does Jesus promise Peter? He will be the foundation on which Christ will build his “church.” Here is the first use of ekklesia in the Gospels. It occurs only three times, all in Matthew, and the other two references are both in 18:17. Many hold that Jesus did not conceive of establishing a church and that these verses are later Matthean insertions. But the nature of Jesus’ instruction to his community of followers certainly implied their continued existence in some form, even if there is little of an “institution” yet in view. Moreover, the word ekklesia in Hellenistic Greek often simply meant an assembly… The popular view that the church is somehow to separate itself from society, based on the derivation of ekklesia from ekkaleo (to call out) affords a classic example of what linguists call the etymological fallacy. Words often develop meanings over time that differ from their roots. They only sense in which the wordchurch in New Testament times means those who are called out is that believers routinely gather together by leaving their separate places of residence or work. (p 252-53) (italics in original -Craig Blomberg, HT, Alan Knox

church is not "called out ones," but "something tangible you can live in"

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